A. P. Thorpe, Pres.
Thos.H. Battue. Treas
37756 Spinning Spindles
17964 Twisting Spindles
Turner B.Bunn. Secty.
Hyman L. Battle. Mgr.
Spinners of High Grade PLY^i(5iRNS
2s TO 6s Waste Yarn
• 1895 •
The Rocky Mount Mills, the oldest cotton mill in the State
of North Carolina, presents an interesting* combination of pictur-
esque location, continuity of ownership and thoroughly up-to-
date equipment and management. It was built in 1818 at the
Falls of the Tar River, a large granite ledge which produces an
effective water power. For more than a century it has been
owned or officered by members of the same famil}^ Thos. H.
Battle, the present treasurer, Turner B. Bunn, secretary, and.
Hyman L. Battle, manager, are direct descendants of Joel Battle,
who, with two associates, erected a stone cotton mill at the pres-
ent location. Burned by Sherman's troops in 1865, it was rebuilt
only to be burned again by an incendiary in 1869. William S.
Battle, then owner, rebuilt it a second time in 1870 and the
building then erected is a part of the present plant.
Though proud of its history, the management has never been
immersed in the ])ast, and even a cursor}^ examination of the
views presented in this pamphlet will impress one with the fact
that funds have been bountifulh^ supplied and expert guidance
availed of to keep the present plant abreast of the latest develop-
ments in the efficient production of dependable cotton yarns of a
high and uniform qualitj^
Rocky Mount Mills ix 1865
Unfortunately there is no available picture of the original
mill which, prior to 1852, was operated by slave labor. The
above photograph shows the mill as rebuilt during the Civil
War, operating in conjunction with a cotton gin, saw mill, and
grist mill. An old invoice used at that time boasts of 3,000 spin-
dles engaged in the manufacture of ''sheetings, shirtings, cotton
yarn, warps and plow lines."
Cotton Field Adjoining Mills
Approximate!}^ 100,000 bales of cotton are grown within a
a radius of twenty miles from the location of the mill, which is
thus enabled to secure for its requirements cotton of a consistent
grade and character with a minimum of transportation charges.
These advantages make for uniformity of output and a favor-
able price level.
Receiving Cotton at Warehouses
With local buyers at Rocky Mount and surrounding towns
thoroughly familiar with the quality of raw cotton desired, the
mill can choose the pick of the crop which is then hauled by
trucks to the mill warehouses. Here the cotton is carefully ex-
amined both as to grade and staple and substandard bales
thrown out. This work is done with great care in order to main-
tain the uniform quality of Rocky Mount Mills yarn.
Mixing and Ageing Room
It is an accepted fact in modern cotton yarn manufactnring:
thjat to insure evenness in dyeing- the cotton must be carefully
and thoroughly mixed. In the mixing' room shown above the
bagging and ties are removed from the bales and after the cotton
is carefully graded again, this time by the mill superintendent
and overseer of carding, the cotton is allowed to stand twenty-
four hours before being i-un. Then a mixture is made from
thirty-five bales at a time and the cotton run through a bale
breaker and other cleaning apparatus.
CoTTOx Conveyor Pipe to Main Mill
After passing through the cleaning equipment in the mixing
room, the cotton is drawn through the conveyor pipe shown
above to the main mill. The picture shows the pipe suspended
above the street leading to a steel bridge, now a piart of North
Carolina's famous highway system. In passing through the
pipe, some 350 feet in length, the cotton is further opened up
and put in prime condition for subsequent processes.
Here the cotton, after being deposited on an apron, is auto-
matically distributed to the several hoppers and the different
processes of cleaning: are really started. After going through
these machines, the cotton is drawn to the breaker lappers on the
floor above. The mill spares no care in the proper cleaning of
the raw stock and the results have fully justified this policy.
After going through three processes of picking or lapping and
being cleaned of the heavier impurities, the cotton is formed into
laps weighing forty pounds. Here the utmost care is observed
to maintain evenness ; all laps are carefully weighed, taking into
consideration the humidity of the room and any lap varying
four ounces from standard is rejected aiid must be run over.
Section of Cards in Card Room
Carding" is probably the most important single process in a
yarn mill and the Rocky Mount Mills takes an especial pride in
its carding department. Several years ago in order to lessen
the amount of cotton carded per machine fjer day the mills in-
stalled maii}^ additional cards and is now carding so slowly as
to make its yarn have the appearance of double-carded yarn.
Systematic testing is done here to keep the weights within a
very narrow range.
Section of Card Room Showing Drawing Frames and Slubbers
After the sliver is taken from the cards through two processes
of drawing to further parallel the fibres and then through slub-
bers where the first twist is put in, the roving, as the stock is
now called, is wound on bobbins. The drawing sliver is carefully
tested every two hours and only a small variation allowed. Such
attention to details are observed throughout the entire plant.
Section of Roving Frames in Card Room
From the slubbers the stock proceeds to the other roving pro-
cesses where it is drawn out finer and made ready for the spin-
ning operation. Especial care is observed here to maintain the
proper humidity and in this department, as throughout the mill,
a modern system of humidification is in operation.
Section of Spinning Department
Here the yarn is spun into the different counts on modern
frames that are kept in perfect repair. All of the different fac-
tors controlling the spinning of yarn are carefully watched by
an alert force of nnderforemen and each bobbin is carefully
inspected before being placed in the creel. Tests for size,
strength and humidity are being made every few hours and
complete records kept.
Section of Spooling Department
Here the yarn is transferred from spinning- bobbins weighing
only a few ounces to spools weighing nearly two pounds. In this
department, as in others, the different counts of yarn are kept
separate by an elaborate system of different colored bobbins and
Section of Twisting Department
From the spoolers the yarn is transferred to the twister rooms
and made into the different plies and twists that we sell. Tests
are being made continually for twdst and evenness and extreme
care is exercised to keep the different twists, counts and plies
Section of Winding Department
After being twisted the yarn is now ready to be put up to
suit the customer and here, too, the Rocky Mount Mills has
kept abreast of the times. We are equipped to put practically
our entire production on any one of the different put-ups. The
mill is continually adding new machinery, when by doing so it
can either improve the quality of its product or meet the par-
ticular requirement of a customer.
Section of Warping Department
The warping department is a source of especial pride. With
a capacit.y of 75,000 pounds of warps per week, the yarn can
be warped in any manner desired. Chain warps, both snaked
and linked, up to 2,250 ends, and ball warps up to 640 ends,
are produced in this department.
Warping From Magazine Cone Creels
The machines above are of the very latest type, warping from
magazine cones which insures perfect tension and makes for per-
fect warping*. A reeord is kept in the warping department of
every thread that breaks, and the reason for the break, and this
information is passed back to the preceding process for cor-
Cone Creel for Large Capacity Chain Warper
The above creel, recently installed, is one of the largest cone
creels yet made and is used in connection with a chain warper.
These cones are wound on the latest type winders and insure
warping* of the highest quality.
Section of Testing Departovient
In no yarn mill is more attention given to testing than in the
Rocky Monnt Mills. A total of 276 tests are made daily in our
efforts to maintain standards. These tests are regularly checked
by commercial testing companies and are accurately kept. Ex-
periments are constantly being made to improve quality, and
suggestions or criticism from our customers are always welcomed.
DiFFEEENT METHODS OF PUTTING UP YaRN
The Kocky Mount Mills is prepared to put up yarn in prac-
tically any manner desired. Its standard forms are shown above
— cones or tubes of any diameter, skeins of any weig'ht, both
regular reel or Grant cross reel, warps of any description, and
perforated tubes of density to insure the proper penetration of
dyestuffs. We are always pleased to consider putting up yarn
in any other manner that any customer desires and correspond-
ence is invited on this subject.
Here the yarn is packed for shipment either in bales or cases.
Only cases of best quality are used and the yarn is subjected
to its final inspection. In order to reduce the cubic size of bales
intended for export a high-pressure press has recently been put
in which condenses a 400-pound bale of yarn to 12 cubic feet.
Extreme care is used in weighing all yarn and every package is
weighed on two scales before being shipped.
Shipping Platform, Coal Chute and Reservoir
Oiir own private siding connects our plant with the main line
of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroiad, and shipments go through
regularly to northern points in three or four days. This is
especially desirable when yarns are needed quickly. The above
picture shows also concrete coal chute and concrete tank used to
keep pressure on the plant sprinkler system.
A complete spinning plant has been installed to iitlize the cot-
ton waste resulting from the various processes of manufacture.
The waste is sorted and mixed in the main mill and drawn
through a conveyor to the waste mill. It is then spun in a differ-
ent building so there will be no danger of an}^ waste j^arn get-
ting mixed with the regular production.
Interior of Waste Mill
On machinery especially designed for this purpose the waste
is spmi into coarse yam ranging; from twos to sixes and wound
on universal tubes, principally for the wire insulating trades.
Section of Hydro-Electric Plant
The hydro-electric power units shown above are indicative of
the manner in which the Rocky Monnt Mills have kept up to the
minute in each department. The total power developed by water
is 1,500 kilowatts, and the equipment is of the latest tyyje.
Trash Rack With Automatic Rake
Put in at great expense, this modern trash rack and auto-
matic rake enable us to run by water power during the season
when tons of leaves are brought down the river by freshets.
The rake traverses section to section and rakes from the bot-
tom of the race, a dej)th of 18 feet, depositing the leaves in
a trough which are then washed over the dam.
Section of Steam Power Plant
Although the mill gets the majority of its power from its
hydro-electric plant, a modern steam power plant is maintained
as a standby. These units have a capacity of 1,500 kilowatts
also, and the different units can be put on or taken off without
interfering with the operation of the mill. The entire plant is
electrified and each department has its own panel on the switch-
By using the latest type automatic stokers the consumption of
coal in the steam plant is kept at a minimum. Here, too, is an
example of the time and monej^ spent by the Rocky Mount Mills
to keep its place in the textile industry.
View of Mill, Dam and Section of Village
This photograph, taken from above Riverside Park, consisting
of some three hundred acres of beautiful woods, and owned by the
Mills, shows the plant, river, dam and a section of the mill
village. The village consists of one hundred and sixty homes,
each with bathroom and all modern conveniences. Convenient
homes and fair treatment of employees reduce labor turnover
and make for efficiency of operation and uniformity of output.
Main Office, Executi\'es and Foremen
No plant is stronger than its organization. Most of the fore-
men have risen from the ranks and a spirit of loyalty to the
Mills and pride in their work dominates the entire personnel.
The present management has adopted a policy of aggressive effi-
ciency which has given the Rocky Mount Mills a reputation in
the trade worthy of its century of honest manufacturing.
To those users that desire a dependable source of supply the
Rocky Mount Mills offer a splendid connection for at least a
portion of their 3^arn requirements. With a weekty production
of one hundred thousand pounds and this i^roduced by daytime
operation only, it is especially equipped to cater to the larger
users. With a capital and surplus in excess of $1,350,000 and
no bonds or preferred stock outstanding, its financial responsi-
bility is such that any contract for future delivery is safe be-
The management of the Rocky Mount Mills endeavors in every
way to cooperate with their customers in the question of deliv-
ery, and with a large production and flexibilitj^ of equipment,
is able to offer the best of service in this respect. Having no
connection with any other mill all efforts are expended here to
constanth^ improve the quality of its yarn and to furnish its
customers, many of long years standing, yarn of high qualitj^
the utmost in service and complete cooperation.
The production of the Rocky Mount Mills is sold exclusively
through commission houses and quotations and delivery may
be obtained at any time from any of the leading ones.
3 2922 00455 386
TS 1566 .R6 1900Z
Rocky Mount Mills (Rocky -x i ^ -7
Mount, N.C.) ^2. d/^^
Rocky Mounty Mills